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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

An Update from the NCIL Voting Rights Subcommittee

Our gratitude goes out to the National Federation of the Blind and the Ohio Disability Rights Center who filed suit in Federal court against the Ohio Secretary of State because their website was inaccessible to people with disabilities. The suit argues that the inaccessible website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A portion of the suit alleges that information and the forms on the website are not accessible. In addition, the suit focuses on Ohio’s absentee ballot system which denies individuals who are blind, have low vision, or other disabilities the right to a secret ballot. The plaintiffs asked the judge to order this website to become accessible before Ohio’s March primary. We will keep you informed about how this progresses.

If you are interested in filing a suit because voting sites in your community are not accessible, feel free to contact Jim Dickson ([email protected]) or Kathy Hoell ([email protected]).

In addition, at NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living in July 2015, the Voting Rights Subcommittee held a breakout session on Get Out The Vote activities directed at Centers for Independent Living. A copy of the manual that we developed is available on the Voting Rights Subcommittee web page. During our breakout session, we suggested that it might be beneficial for individuals involved in Get Out The Vote activities to gather via teleconference throughout the year. We are suggesting that a call occur regarding this subject matter on February 24, 2016. At this time we will discuss the need for future calls and possible topics that would be of interest to the participants. If you are interested, contact Jim Dickson or Kathy Hoell using the email addresses above.